November 14, 2017

JEAN-LOUIS GASSÉE HAS A Dare To Congress: Go Ahead, Vote A Golden Key Encryption Law.

Above all else, politicians play the crowd, it’s how they keep their jobs. The ostentatious plea for “responsible encryption” is mere grandstanding aimed at gaining Law and Order votes from people who justifiably don’t like the idea of Bad People being able to hide their communications from authorities.

The grandstanding often takes the form of a hackneyed hypothetical: A terrorist is hiding the location of a dirty bomb on his smartphone. Who wouldn’t want a trusted government agency to unlock the device and save a city?

The hypothetical isn’t just painful, it’s dishonest and manipulative.

Instead of arguing, let’s issue a dare to Congress: Stop dickering already and enact a law that would compel any entity that makes, sells, or uses encryption to place the one and only decryption key for their product or service — the Golden Key — in escrow with a newly created REA, the Responsible Encryption Agency.

Congress, will you stop the posturing and vote for such a law?

No. They would come to their senses and see the ugly consequences of the legislation.

I’m less sanguine about the wisdom of the elected masses.